Hospitality: When a house becomes a home

One of my big fears about moving to BHFH was that it would be harder for us to have people visit, hang out, feel at home. If Bill and I had a mission statement for our marriage, providing hospitality would be front and center. I hoped that people we love would feel comfortable hanging out here, but I didn’t know. I hoped that our housemates would be comfortable with our family and friends, but, again. I didn’t know. Not everyone appreciates having a rambunctious 21 month old or people they don’t know invading their space.

marton and leila asleep in library Mostly it’s worked out well. Clearly our son-in-law and granddaughter feel comfortable enough in our home to fall asleep in the library shared by all 21 residents. Leila loves to ride the elevator, play hide and seek around the dining room and explore all the different staircases. She has a place she prefers to sit at the dining room table and when we do a round of names (when we have guests at dinner) she usually pipes up with “LEILA!” Our house mates have been patient with her noise and our clear adoration of her. One of the big pluses for her is having a whole new set of aunts and uncles whose names she is gradually learning, sort of. Clarissa is known as Issa and Ryan is Iyan.

Over the course of our 18 months here we have had 23 people spend the night at the house. 1st birthday2That’s a bit fewer than we would normally have in our own home, but it’s close. We hosted a one-year birthday party for Leila and 7 other wee ones that one housie described as a “pile of babies.” We’ve also had a number of people for dinner. It’s not perfect – Bill will write about some of the challenges in his next post – but it works.

We’re really grateful to our housemates for being supportive of our need to offer hospitality.

How have your different living circumstances shaped the kind of hospitality you provide?

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